62% JAN-DHAN Accounts linked to AADHAAR

Sixty-two per cent of the bank accounts had been linked to Aadhaar number under the Prime Minister Jan -Dhan Yojana in Chhattisgarh.

Chief Secretary Vivek Dhand presided over a meeting of a State-level Bankers’ Committee in which details of project were given at the Mantralaya here, officials informed.

He called upon the bankers to attain cent per cent linking of bank accounts to Aadhaar by  March 22 this year.

Principal Secretary Finance, Amitabh Jain said that 1.21 crore accounts had been opened till  February 10, 2017 in the State under the Prime Minister Jan-Dhan Project.

A total of 75.14 lakh bank accounts had been uplinked with Aadhaar.

Jain said that 40 bank branches had been opened in insurgency-affected regions. The proposal was to open 61 bank branches.

The Chief Secretary called upon the officials to open bank branches in the remaining districts also soon. Ru-Pay card issue was also discussed at the meeting.

He directed the officials to distribute Smart chip Ru-Pay cards and encourage the public for transactions. Aadhaar seeding and Mobile seeding of Jan-Dhan accounts in a time-bound manner. Top bank officials of several banks attended the meeting.

As many as 1.83 crore ration card holder members among families are now linked to Aadhaar under the Public Distribution System (PDS), officials informed.

Notably, a total of 12,021 ration shops have also been computerized in Chhattisgarh and connected using Andorid based Tablets, officials informed.

The move had been taken to further strengthen the Public Distribution System (PDS) and make its functioning more transparent, they informed.

Considerable progress has also been achieved in Gujarat, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan with 17,000 (99%), 11,965 (97%) and 24,649 (96%) automated Fair Price Shops (FPSs) respectively, the Central government has informed.

As a result, these States have been able to reduce ghost lifting, achieve better targeting of food subsidies by authentication of eligible beneficiaries, improvement in service delivery, weeding out bad FPSs, etc.

Notably, Union Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution Ram Vilas Paswan has requested States to expedite the reforms so as to bring transparency in the functioning of Public Distribution System (PDS), which is a key feature of National Food Security Act (NFSA).

Highlighting the significant role played by Central and State Governments in ensuring food security to more than 80 crore eligible beneficiaries under the NFSA, which is presently being implemented in 34 States/UTs, Paswan requested Kerala and Tamil Nadu also to implement the Act as early as possible.

The Minister was addressing the inaugural session of the National Conference on Reforms in PDS and Computerization in New Delhi recently.

He appreciated the significant efforts made by the various State/UT Governments in achieving 100% digitization of ration cards and automating 1.5 Lakh Fair Price Shops across the country.

Officers from the State Governments of Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, and Maharashtra shared the Best Practices in Aadhaar Seeding, FPS automation and Supply Chain Management for the benefit of others States/UTs.

The Minister also requested the concerned States/UTs, lagging behind in PDS Computerization in general, and in Aadhaar seeding and FPS automation in particular.

Paswan said due to Aadhaar seeding a total of 2.33 crore ghost/fraudulent/duplicate ration cards have been deleted across 27 States and UTs which has led to estimated ‘Rightful Targeting of Food Subsidies’ of Rs. 14,000 crore.

Addressing the conference Union Minister of State of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution C.R. Chaudhary emphasized  the need to further improve the efficiency and transparency of all operations related to food security i.e. production, procurement, storage, logistics, distribution and nutrition among others.

In order to ensure the timely delivery of quality food-grains and protect consumer rights, he requested the concerned stakeholders to modernize procurement operations, construct scientific storage facilities, implement NFSA and complete the end to end computerization of TPDS operations within the desired time frames.

With a view to ensuring that only eligible beneficiaries get ration supply under Public Distribution System (PDS) and for their error-free identification, ration cards have been linked with Aadhaar numbers, officials informed.

Officers of Food, Civil Supply and Consumer Protection Department informed that this work of Aadhaar seeding is in process to ensure that the benefits of government schemes are availed by only eligible beneficiaries.